Battling the Winter Blues

Now that the holidays are over and the gray days of January have come to stay, it’s time to pull out my bag of tricks to keep the winter blues at bay. I don’t think I’d get an official diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder (my sympathies if you do), but I need to start now to keep my spirits up through the long dark days of winter.

As I type this I’m sitting wrapped in a blanket with my toasty dog on my lap. The thermostat says it’s seventy in here, but I feel winter down to my bones. Staying warm is key. If I wasn’t typing, the cup of tea at my elbow would be warming my hands.

New Year’s resolutions aside, it’s time to rally my coworkers and get my winter exercise group going. It’s easy to exercise when the weather is fine and the sun is shining. Once we’re trapped indoors it’s tempting to hibernate, but that won’t help my mood. Since none of us are terribly athletic, the resulting laughter is mood-lifting exercise as well.

It’s also tempting to stay home when the days are gray, but getting out to visit with friends or see a movie can lift me out of my winter funk.

One of the hardest parts of winter for me is that gray view out the window. I spend all winter craving green. These days I spend enough time at work and home staring at screens that I change those screens to be the window views I’d really prefer. Spring is my favorite season, but that’s not what I’m going for here. I choose desktop photos that make me remember hot, humid summer days  when I was sticky and damp, but loving the day and who I was with. Here are some of my favorites.


I was hiking at Effigy Mounds in Iowa with my brother and sister-in-law. The temperature was in the 80’s and as I look at this photo I can feel my shirt sticking to my back. We came around a bend to see this view through the trees.


On a warm summer day, an old friend introduced me to a conservation area in Illinois called Emiquon. This photo only captures a fraction of the beauty of that day, but can’t you hear the flies buzzing in the heat? (Photo credit: Donna J. O’Day)


Driving cross country with my daughter I captured this view in Utah. While she’s far away now, this reminds me of the uninterrupted hours we spent together. Can you feel the heat rising off the sand?


Last summer my other daughter and I went hiking near Lake Superior. This is only one of the spectacular views we experienced that day. Looking out over the lake, I can feel the heat of the sun, the cool of the water and my daughter at my side.


Imagine a stroll down a road heading out of town with your extended family while the sun sets. This view gives me a feeling of peace.

I feel warmer already!

I hope you stay warm and upbeat until winter is Gone!


5 thoughts on “Battling the Winter Blues

  1. I LOVE the last photo, especially. If that one doesn’t create inner warmth, I don’t know what else will other than the electric blanket that I am hiding under at present. It’s been pretty grey on average around here too, and we are back in a cold spell, but today’s sunshine was sure welcome. I am sending it your way. Hang tight…the days are growing more light:-).


  2. Memories of warmth and sunshine and company. I love the way you’re preparing for winter by connecting with what you love about summer, which is alive in you and ready to access on the coldest, bleakest hours. Thanks for the inspiration. ❤️


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